We’ve been getting a lot of questions about available options for deploying iOS apps.
Geoff recently wrote about how to deploy iOS apps inside a company, but I’d like to collect all the various ways to deploy your iOS here for quick, easy reference.
Ad-Hoc Deployment to Devices
With Ad-Hoc Deployment, you build your iOS apps using an iOS Development Profile and manually copy the built app to the device. To create this profile you need to be a member of the Apple Developer Program (currently $99/year from Apple). You can deploy apps built in this manner on up to 100 devices.
There are step-by-step instructions on how to do this, which you can read about in the Xojo User Guide here: iOS Device Deployment.
For beta testing purposes, you can also use Apple’s TestFlight server to allow up to 1000 users to install a beta version of your app. Use of TestFlight also requires that you are a member of the iOS Developer Program.
Check out the Xojo Docs for instructions on how to use TestFlight: Submitting to TestFlight
To get your app in the hands of end users, you will typically want to use the App Store. To do so, you will build your app using an iOS Distribution Profile. You will have to be a member of the iOS Developer Program.
Check out the Xojo Docs for step-by-step instructions on how to build and submit an app to the App Store: Submitting to the iOS App Store.
Volume Purchase Program
As mentioned by Geoff in a previous post, the Volume Purchase Program provides a way for you to distribute apps to businesses or educational institutions without having to publish your app to the App Store. Apple has more information on this program:
Businesses can use the iOS Developer Enterprise Program to get tools and resources for developing proprietary, in-house iOS apps that you can distribute to your employees. These apps are distributed outside of the App Store.
For more information, visit the iOS Developer Enterprise Program.
Other than jailbreaking your device, we are not aware of other options for deploying apps to iOS devices at this time.